The "American Idol" bashing website, "Vote For The Worst," has made its first choice for worst contestant for Season 12. Last season's first choice, Shannon Magrane, only made it through two shows, but the site's picks have weathered better in the past. So who is the lucky (?) finalist this year?
"Vote For The Worst" ("VFTW") posted its first champion of 2013 to its website Wednesday, March 13, before the Top 10 took the stage in Hollywood to perform "Music from the American Idols." Lazaro outpolled his colleagues by a considerable margin and only two other guys (that is correct; no girls) were even close to becoming a "worster." Lazaro amassed 37 percent of the vote (1,795 total votes), with Paul Jolley (24 percent, 1,190 votes) and Curtis Finch Jr (15 percent, 717 votes) placing second and third.
Now it and its members will presumably put their collective vote in for Lazaro to keep him in the competition. Oddly enough, that's what Lazaro needs to keep him in the competition -- more votes.
Lazaro made the Top 10 on his charm, good looks, emotional style of singing, and his sympathetic backstory. And it is the latter that gets "VFTW" going, railing against the manipulative "Idol" producers and the editing for effect, simply to gain more viewers and ramp up the average price per commercial spot. Cynical it may seem, but bringing in viewers is exactly what producers attempt to do with every new idea, film clip, backstory, length of camera time per contestant, etc. But it is the lip service of doing it to find new talent and springboard said talent to fame that appears to gall the anti-mass appeal rebels at "VFTW."
So what do they do? They choose the worst singer and/or performer and back them to win it all. Their thinking: Keep the marginally talented and those there only because of sympathy and underdog appeal in the contest as long as possible, making the show a caricature of what it is supposed to be -- the culling of the best from the best.
It is actually counterintuitively brilliant.
And "VFTW" has had successes in the past. Sanjaya Malakar got all the way to seventh place in Season 6. Tim Urban equalled the feat during Season 9. Their highest "worster" came in Season 3 when they championed John Stevens, who made it to sixth before getting the boot.
As mentioned earlier, last year's first pick, Shannon Magrane only made it to eleventh (and she was helped there by Jermaine Jones getting kicked off for lying to the producers about his arrest record).
Lazaro just might do better than all of them. Despite the site's universal condemnation of the singers for one reason or another, Season 12 does have a few powerful and talented singers. However, some of them, like Curtis Finch Jr and Burnell Taylor, come off as posturing for effect (Curtis) or technically correct but unattached (Burnell). Some, like Paul Jolley, are too bland. Professional oddsmakers put Lazaro's chances to win it all at fourth-best out of the Top 10.
Nobody wants to be labeled worst at anything, but at least with the guys at "VFTW," you get support.
We'll find out if Lazaro Arbos makes it into the Top 9 Thursday evening at 8 p.m. (EST) when the "American Idol" Top 10 results show airs on Fox Television.